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DBS-affiliate BPI in talks to form Philippines' biggest bank

Published on Nov 21, 2012 3:45 PM

MANILA (AFP) - The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), an affiliate of Singapore lender DBS, is in talks to acquire local rival Philippine National Bank (PNB) to create potentially the country's largest financial institution.

Trading in the two firms was suspended on Wednesday as they disclosed that BPI's majority shareholders were in negotiations to buy PNB, majority-owned by tobacco tycoon Lucio Tan, the Philippines' second-richest man.

"We confirm discussions with the Lucio Tan Group and will make the appropriate disclosures in accordance with the (exchange) disclosure rules," BPI said.

PNB shares soared 11.69 per cent to 84.10 pesos (S$2.50) in Tuesday trade, while BPI ended 3.21 per cent higher at 88.45 pesos.

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